Piano Maintenance – Guide To Protecting Your Investment

Piano In An Open Room

In this guide, we are going to provide you with everything you need to know about piano maintenance. Since pianos are such expensive investments, you will want to take great care of it and have a good understanding of how to care for them.

Piano Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your piano can save you thousands of dollars in the long run for multiple reasons. Follow these steps below to ensure you are properly taking care of your pianos.

1) Controlling The Humidity & Temperature

The room temperature should be kept near 70-72 F as much as possible. According to Steinway, humidity levels should range between 45% and 70%. Changes in the temperature should always be avoided in order to prevent your piano from going out of tune and having regulation influenced.

2) Piano Placement

Sunlight beating on the piano

Where you place your piano can have a significant effect on how often you have to tune your piano. It can also prevent your pianos from getting damaged from sunlight and or humidity.

Where you place your piano can affect the overall sound and performance of your piano as well as prevent damage to it.

The overall goal when placing your piano is that you are preventing direct sunlight & temperature changes to it as much as possible. Avoid the following:

  • Placing next to air vents
  • Placing next to windows
  • Direct sunlight
  • Heating vents
  • Stoves
  • Fireplaces
  • Radiators
  • Gas heaters or space heaters

If windows are near your piano, you will want to have blinds that keep the temperature-controlled as much as you can. Avoiding hours per day of direct sunlight is incredibly important.

Close to 90% of pianos are made up of wood & metals and when you mix heat, it can cause swelling and it can also ruin the finish on your pianos.

Once you start ruining the finish and the wood on your piano, you are going to start greatly depreciating your piano.

3) Protection

Protection is key when it comes to pianos. A lot of problems that you can have down the line can be prevented with proper protection. I would recommend the following when it comes the protection of your pianos:

  1. Keep cats & pets off of your pianos
  2. No drinks
  3. Invest in a piano dust cover
  4. Clean & dust piano regularly

It is extremely easy to avoid damage to your pianos, but it does take time commitment. If you are able to establish boundaries for pets with your piano, that will help greatly in the long run.

Piano dust covers are great as they not only protect your piano from the sunlight, but they also protect it from dust, pet hair, and potential drink spills.

I recommend cleaning the keys of your piano and dusting it at least once a week. Not only does this provide good hygiene, but it also will make it so it stays in tune longer.

4) Tuning

Tuning is one of the most important factors when it comes to taking care of your piano. This will directly affect how your piano sounds and plays on every level.

If you don’t tune your piano often enough, you can cause serious damage to the hammers & strings and it will also not sound very good.

How Often Should You Tune Your Piano?

It is recommended that brand new pianos are tuned 4 times in the first year. This is to account for the changing of each season. If you have your piano in a very controlled environment with great conditions, you probably don’t have to do it 4 times.

Most pianos should be tuned twice per year. Again, humidity comes into play here again. If you are also playing the piano rigorously and you can tell it’s going out of tune, get it tuned again.

Do Digital Pianos Need To Be Tuned?

Digital pianos do not need to be tuned. This is a big factor why people choose to buy digital pianos. They are far less maintenance than acoustic pianos & they also weigh a lot less then real pianos.

5) Proper Cleaning

A piano that is kept in good condition and is looking good provides you with something that most other instruments don’t: doubling as furniture. Not only does cleaning your piano keep it in better shape, it also makes your house look better.

Properly cleaning ensue that you don’t damage your finish while doing so. There are some great piano polishes that will greatly help in this department.

Again, keep your piano out of direct exposure to sunlight to avoid it from warping.

I have a piano shell that my band and I made for my digital pianos and I took it on tour for 3 years. After time, the wood greatly expanded and the paint started to fade.

This was from extreme weather conditions. If you can avoid drastic temperature changes, do so at all costs.

How Often Should You Clean Your Piano

I would say you should be cleaning your piano at least weekly. With this being said, if you clean your house or aprtment more frequently, also clean your piano about the same amount.

I recommend cleaning your piano with the rest of your home so that you instill a habit that you should always be keeping your piano clean.

This will prevent a large amount of dust that can build up on the keys, between the keys, in the cabinet, & pretty much everywhere you can imagine.

Dust can be an absolute nightmare in the long run when it comes to pianos.

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